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College women's basketball: Ridgewater falls to Minnesota West

Warriors led by Willmar guards Ashley Prahl and Abby Berskow

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Ridgewater freshman guard Abby Berskow attempts to get past a Minnesota West Community & Tech. defender on Wednesday, Jan. 19, 2022 at Ridgewater.
Matthew Curry/ West Central Tribune

WILLMAR — The two local athletes, Willmar guards Ashley Prahl and Abby Berskow, did their best to bring success to Ridgewater women’s basketball on Wednesday.

But the Warriors fell short, 82-53 to Minnesota West Technical & Community College of Worthington.

Prahl totaled 20 points, five rebounds and a steal in 36 minutes played. Berskow followed with 17 points, eight assists and seven rebounds in 39 minutes.

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Ridgewater freshman Ashley Prahl defends a Minnesota West opponent on Wednesday, Jan. 19, 2022 at Ridgewater.
Matthew Curry/ West Central Tribune

The Warriors played its entire roster of seven players against the Bluejays’ nine-player roster.

“This group can do it; they can play with a team for about 30 of the 40 minutes,” Warriors’ head coach Carrie Ogdahl said. “There is about a 10-minute stretch of every game where we really break down on defense and they are able to score off of us.”

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Ridgewater played with five players Saturday in a 61-29 loss to Western Tech of La Crosse, Wisconsin.

“Against Western Tech. it was a close game in that first quarter, (but we) didn’t score that second quarter,” Ogdahl said. “(We) got it back to within nine in the third quarter, but we just have that slight lull there in games.”

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Ridgewater freshman guard Grace Garoutte fires up a jumper against Minnesota West on Wednesday, Jan. 19, 2022 at Ridgewater.
Matthew Curry/ West Central Tribune

That lull on Wednesday came in the third quarter when the Warriors were outscored 25-9 after being outscored 18-17 in the first quarter and 18-12 in the second. Ridgewater had a slight bounce back in the fourth quarter, but were outscored 21-15.

“That lull mostly comes when we come back in for that second half,” Ogdahl said.

The limited number of players has started to take a toll on the Warriors.

“This has just been mentally draining on the girls,” Ogdahl said. “Forget the physical part of it. It’s hard. We practice regularly with three-four people. You can’t get anything done. You can’t get rest. So I give these girls a lot of credit. They’re dealing with a lot of mental stuff as well as physical.”

Despite the loss, Ogdahl felt the silver lining was the Warriors’ final point total.

“We’re happy to have played with them,” Ogdahl said. “Scoring 53 points against them, we haven’t scored that much in the first two conference games. But it was nice playing with seven players.”

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Ridgewater plays at 1 p.m. Saturday at Riverland Community College in Austin.

Minnesota West 82, Ridgewater 53

Minnesota West (7-10) 18 18 25 21 — 82

Ridgewater (2-7) 17 12 9 15 — 53

MINNESOTA WEST - Scoring: Mackenzie Post 5, Jayden Zebe 3, Madisyn Huisman 6, Tia Murray 16, Dannyn Peterson 20, Hunter Garcia 17, Kassidy Weeldreyer 4, Jadyn Lessman 6, Emily Breske 5  … 3-point shots: Post 1, Ziebe 1, Garcia 3, Breske 1 … Rebound leaders: Lessman 11, Zebe 8 … Assist leaders: Post 5, Huisman 3, Murray 3 … Steal leader: Post 3 ... Block leader: Peterson 1

RIDGEWATER - Scoring: Josie Knutson 2, Caitlynn Hanson 2, Ashley Prahl 20, Abby Berksow 17, Harley Kunstleben 8, Coral Mattison 4 … 3-point shots: Prahl 2, Kunstleben 2 … Rebound leaders: Berskow 7, Kunstleben 7 … Assist leader: Berksow 8, Grace Garoutte 4 … Steal leader: Five players with 1 ... Block leader: none

Matthew Curry is a sports reporter and photographer for the West Central Tribune.
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